Soups, Salads and Sandwiches in Eagle Rock.
For some people, the avant garde, the offbeat, the unusual are things to be cherished, a beloved, especially in a place like Los Angeles.
I am not one of those people.
It’s true, L.A. does seem to overly value the plastic and the trendified. So when something unafraid, out there, and unusual comes along, it is given high high regard.
Me? I just want lunch.
Auntie Em’s Kitchen is unusual. It is totally unafraid to be who and what it is. Those are good things It’s also a place that the neighborhood loves. It’s one of those funkified, rarified, could exist nowhere else but in Eagle Rock.
Me? Meh. It’s fine, just not spectacular. Maybe that’s the point, and I just missed it.
First problem is the hellish, hellish parking situation. This is not a problem if you’re coming in from a stroll from the surrounding neighborhood. Cars don’t factor in for you. But even if you’re coming in from Glendale, literally just a mile or two away, a car’s a freakin’ factor, and you’ve got to park that ride somewhere.
But we’ll get to that later.
Auntie Em’s Kitchen has a lot of outdoor seating, and three doors…two of which are marked Staff Only.
Okay, make that one door.
Walking in, and…I’m sorry is it just me, or is the service a bit…indifferent?
This is giving me a case of the feel-bads because I just finished a piece about how terribly we treat Waitstaffs in restaurants, and here I am complaining about the Waitstaff.
–wait a second.
Did an ex girlfriend of mine just walk in the door?
She looks fam–no, no. It’s not her. Whew!
Fine. I can settle in.
The Waitstaff indifference is quickly taken care of. Looks like the first indifferent person who taking care of me when I walked has been replaced by someone who’s been here a while.
A, not so much indifference, but uncertainty. Fine. I can deal with uncertainty.
Once the experienced waitress takes over, Auntie Em’s becomes a whole new experience. Stuff starts showing up. Get to sit down and relax. Overall (of all things) it reminds me of a homier version of Lincoln.
But man, that girl…the one who looks like an ex-girlfriend of mine, is really freaking me out.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I went ahead with the Herb Grilled Chicken Sandwich, which is a perfect decent sandwich. I wasn’t sent head over heels by it. Though it came in between two slices of really, really good bread. The Chicken was freshly pulled, and was real Chicken. The combination of everything together. Good. Close to meh, but good.
Their Spicy Chicken Orzo and Lime was a bit better. This was a nice bit of soup. The lime flavor was a nice touch. The only drawback I can see is that their definition of “spicy” and my definition of “spicy” are two different things.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Yeah, the door thing. Not that obvious. The restaurant has three visible doors, but only one of them is for you. That leads it into the market portion of the Restaurant.
PARKING: Borderline nightmarish. This is tough, because you really can’t blame restaurants for this. A place like Auntie Em’s found a space for their cooking and distribution needs, and…well, they hope they see ya. They don’t have their own dedicated lot. What looks like a lot next door is actually a Used Car dealership. So don’t go parking there.
Odds are you’ll have to find a space along Eagle Rock Blvd. And you will find one, depending on how much of a hike you want to take to get to Auntie Em’s. Spots close to the restaurant or even on the same side of the street are hard to come by. The closest places are usually directly across the very wide incredibly busy Eagle Rock Blvd. Just be careful crossing the street.
This is the main drawback of the restaurant. It’s clearly a neighborhood joint with neighborhood Eagle Rock hipsters in mind. If you can walk to the restaurant, do so. If you’re coming in from another neighborhood and drove in, have a contingency plan just in case. Oinkster and Blue Hen aren’t that far away.
Auntie Em’s Kitchen
4616 N. Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Tel: (323) 255-0800
Monday-Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm